Originally posted on bleacherreport.com  |  Last updated 3/11/12

The UFC middleweight division has known nothing but Anderson Silva as its champion for almost six years now. Whether it has been former champions like Rich Franklin and Vitor Belfort, or icons in the sport like Dan Henderson, foe after foe has entered the Octagon and notch after notch has been added to Silva’s belt.

No fighter has ever seemed so unbeatable, so immortal as “The Spider” now seems today. Every time Silva steps into the Octagon he finds a new and incredible way to add to his already impeccable reputation as the pound-for-pound king.

Even with mortality (Silva is 36 years old) settling into the picture, it’s hard to find a fighter who is the ideal person to dethrone Silva from his middleweight title. Where most fighters excel at one or two styles of MMA, Silva seems to take it upon himself to not only excel at everything, but do so better than everyone else.

The legend will live on forever. No one can take that away from the middleweight champion. But, if there is anything MMA has taught us, it’s that all good things must come to an end.

And Silva, even with all his gifts, is not exempt from that fact.

The UFC’s middleweight division is widely seen as one of the weaker divisions in the UFC, due largely to the effect of Silva’s reign as champion. However, there are fighters moving up the ranks clamoring for their shot at Silva.

Some are familiar faces to the champion and some have careers that are just picking up. All of them, however, have one thing in common—they all have the ability to eventually push Silva to the limit.

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